EX-PURGATORY by Peter Clines


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The superheroes of the future have been restored to their dull, pedestrian lives, and they have no idea who or where they are.

Clines (Ex-Communication, 2013, etc.) set a lot of geek hearts aflutter with this imaginative series that finds his version of the Justice League caught between a zombie apocalypse and a host of supervillains set loose with a lot of dangerous toys in a world fallen to chaos. In his fourth outing, the author pulls off a very comic-book–inspired trick, lifting a concept from an old episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation but also liberally borrowing the kinds of high-concept, world-shifting events that run rampant in Marvel Comics “events” as well as bits and pieces from noodle-benders like The Matrix and Inception. Interestingly, it not only drops a host of Easter eggs for longtime fans, but it also makes for a satisfying entry point for new readers. We open on George Bailey, a handyman at a local college who finds himself plagued by dark, apocalyptic dreams. One ordinary day, he is approached by a pale girl in a wheelchair who introduces herself as Madelyn Sorensen. “The Corpse Girl,” she says. “And you’re George Bailey. St. George? Formerly the Mighty Dragon?” Eventually, George accepts the fact that he is future zombie world’s analog of Superman and needs to find his mind-wiped comrades. The problem is that our heroes can’t figure out whether they’re being manipulated via telepathy, are trapped in some kind of comprehensive illusion, interacting in a virtual simulation like the matrix, or are simply comatose in a hospital somewhere, dreaming the whole thing up. It can all sound a little juvenile on paper—Clines freely admits that he invented these characters in grade school—but he brings such a youthful enthusiasm to the whole deranged enterprise that it’s easy to overlook a few flaws in the name of good, clean fun.

A fabulously geeky adventure about getting the superpowered band back together.

Pub Date: Jan. 14th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-8041-3661-7
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Broadway
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2013


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